Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Distance Between Us by Maggie O'Farrell

Click to view large image of cover in new window...This is the third novel I have read by Maggie O’Farrell and I find her novels easy reading but nothing spectacular. I enjoyed this more than ‘My Lover’s Lover’ and about the same as ‘After You’d Gone.’  ‘The Distance Between Us’ is a love story full of complex relationships and lots of pain.

At the start of the novel the protagonists Stella Gilmore and Jake Kildoune do not even know of the existence of the other. Of course it is obvious to the reader that they will meet eventually.  First we are told the two linking stories separately as Stella and Jake move geographically closer together as they desperately try to find themselves and each other amidst the confusion of their complicated lives. Stella finds her London life disturbing her so much that she runs away to Scotland, to somewhere only her sister Nina, to whom she is really close, will understand the significance of.  Meanwhile Jake suffers a terrifying experience in Hong Kong which results in him finding himself married and in the UK with an invalid wife that he doesn’t love!  He runs away in search of the father he never knew, yes in you guessed Scotland.  I thought the title was a clever use of words as to me it sums up the void in the intense relationship between Jake and Stella, there was so much they had to discover about each other.

In general if you enjoy a novel with a large cast of characters and can cope with the style of jumping around in time and place then this is worth reading.

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